A LITTLE boy has died of sepsis just five days after getting an infection in his nose.
Leo Dennis, four, was rushed to Morriston Hospital in Swansea after suffering a seizure and a high temperature last week.
Yet, his mum Jemma, 24, was told to take her son home and give him Calpol, his family allege.
Two days later, the distraught mum rushed the child back to hospital when his condition worsened.
Tragically, Leo died after suffering from sepsis – sometimes referred to as blood poisoning.
His aunt Leanne told Wales Online: “He went into cardiac arrest in her arms. He ended up with sepsis and went into septic shock.”
Speaking of his initial symptoms, she said: “He caught a bug from his nose that everyone carries. He went in with a high temperature and a seizure and Jemma was told to give him Calpol.”
Leo was born with a variety of medical problems and had to have open heart surgery when he was just one day old.
What is sepsis?
Sepsis (also known as blood poisoning) is the immune system’s overreaction to an infection or injury.
Normally our immune system fights infection – but sometimes, for reasons we don’t yet understand, it attacks our body’s own organs and tissues.
Most often the culprit is an infection we all recognise – pneumonia, urinary infections (UTIs), skin infections, including cellulitis, and infections in the stomach, for example appendicitis.
If not treated immediately, sepsis can result in organ failure and death – yet with early diagnosis, it can be treated with antibiotics.
Sepsis can initially look like flu, gastroenteritis or a chest infection.
There is no one sign, and symptoms present differently between adults and children.
Source: The UK Sepsis Trust
The lad was both with a heart defect and also did not have a spleen.
He was later diagnosed with cerebral palsy which affects movement and co-ordination.
During his four years of life, he went on to have further heart surgery in which he had a pacemaker fitted as well as an operation on a twisted bowel.
Despite his medical issues, Leanne said Leo was a happy boy.
She said: “He was really bubbly, they thought he would never walk. He started walking at two and he didn’t stop, he could not sleep because he was scared of missing out on things.
“He would put his thumb up and call people ‘dude.'”
Following his death on Sunday, the family paid tribute to Leo online.
Their statement read: “Today, our world as a family was turned upside down.
“Our little, beautiful, brave, strong Leo gained his wings. Leo fought with sepsis till the very end but now he is at peace, Jemma has lost not only her best friend but her baby boy and needs this time to grieve for her little fighter.
“Leo’s beaming smile, beautiful laugh, contagious personality, and big blue eyes will be sorely missed not just by family and friends but mostly by the woman who lost her everything, Jemma.
“Rest In Peace our beautiful Leo Luke Dennis.”
Relatives have set up a GoFundMe page to help with funeral costs.
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Leanne said the family are planning to pursue a complaint against the Swansea Bay University Health Board over Leo’s care.
A health board spokesperson said: “We would like to express our sincere condolences to the family at this very sad time.
“We would ask them to contact us so their concerns can be fully investigated.”
If you are affected by any of the issues raised in this article, please call the Samaritans for free on 116123.